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How do I shot RPG graphics?
http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=6815
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Author:  tepples [ Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:01 pm ]
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A house and tree:

Image

Do I still suck, or am I getting the hang of this?

Author:  Memblers [ Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:50 pm ]
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It looks pretty good. The chimney seems a little off, I I think because I want to imagine where it touches the ground, and that makes me overly curious about how the size of the house, related to the perspective.

Besides that minor nitpick, it's good, and makes me wonder what the other screens would look like if that character went down the road.

Author:  tokumaru [ Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:28 pm ]
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tepples wrote:
Do I still suck, or am I getting the hang of this?

Looks nice, but I see a few problems: The perspective of the tree doesn't seem to match the rest, it looks too bi-dimensional. The roof looks a bit out of place too, because everything has a black outline, except for it.

Speaking of outlines, I think that they can make backgrounds look less professional sometimes. I don't know if I think that because cartoons have foreground objects outlined but not the background, but I know that most of the pixel art I look up to doesn't have outlines, not even on the sprites.

Outlines can probably be used on the background, but then I think you have to pick a style. Outlines go well with flat colors, not with heavy dithering and complex textures. Your mock-up does have some clashing styles that should be resolved.

Anyway, I don't think your art is bad at all tepples. From what I've seen of your work it looks simplistic, but not bad. With art like that you can make really cute games that nobody will think look bad. They might lean more towards older NES games than newer ones, but that isn't necessarily bad.

Author:  tepples [ Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:32 am ]
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Thanks. I took some of your ideas into account and backed off some of the outlining for front-facing faces. I also figured out where the bottom of the chimney was.

Image

Author:  Bregalad [ Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:45 pm ]
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IMO the house looks great, but the trees don't. They are way too symetric and not random enough.

Author:  tokumaru [ Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:08 pm ]
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Maybe 3 spheres with a noisy texture are not enough to produce an interesting tree... I'd try with more spheres.

Author:  tepples [ Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:28 pm ]
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Oops, pure green isn't in the NES palette. Fixed, along with a bunch of new stuff and further tweaks on the tree to make the construction from spheres slightly less obvious. Thanks for the constructive criticism.

Image


(Previous post-edits are due to how the web revision system on my site works: there is no permanent link to any revision that is currently the newest.)

Author:  neilbaldwin [ Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:32 pm ]
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Tepples : I'd be really interested in what process you go through to create those graphics. I presume you're creating them as a BMP/PNG and then convert but what are you using to put it all together?

I keep defaulting back to YYCHR just because the results are fairly immediate (plus I only dabble with making fonts and stuff).

Author:  Memblers [ Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:40 pm ]
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It looks a lot better with the new palette. That's pretty cool.

I think a 2 or 3 different types of small plants to use in the grass would make it look more natural and balance out the trees a bit. Just sort of randomly placed (could be more in the grass near the river), could be some sparsely-distributed wildflowers if you have a free color. Kinda kills the RLE compression, I know, heheh.

Author:  tokumaru [ Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:58 pm ]
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neilbaldwin wrote:
I keep defaulting back to YYCHR just because the results are fairly immediate

If you want to make good graphics, I suggest you don't use tile editors. Since they usually force you to draw inside small regions, your art ends up looking pretty blocky. It's not that you can't make awesome fluid graphics with them, but the fact that you can only edit small regions at a time makes the process much more tedious, so you end up not touching the art up as much. It seems that you can paste images into YYCHR though, and for that purpose (converting tiles) I guess it's OK.

I use MSPaint to draw all my pixel art. In XP (I don't think Vista and 7 have this) you can even have 3 active colors at a time (1 for the left mouse button, 1 for the right button and an extra one that you can select/use with any button when CTRL is pressed), which is great. I usually draw a box with the dimensions/shape of the object I want to draw and once the object is ready I break it into individual tiles for conversion. It's a lot of manual work, but it's not like I keep updating graphics all the time: once I convert into the NES format the art is pretty much final, I rarely ever change it after that.

Author:  tepples [ Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:22 pm ]
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neilbaldwin wrote:
Tepples : I'd be really interested in what process you go through to create those graphics. I presume you're creating them as a BMP/PNG and then convert but what are you using to put it all together?

I'm just drawing these in GIMP as a mock-up. My file has 14 layers in it, including one for an object used only as reference for another object's dimensions. (Layers are one thing Microsoft Paint doesn't do.) I even use GIMP to make tile sheets when I do get around to putting the graphics in a program. I have a makefile job that converts PNG to CHR: when I edit the PNG and rebuild the project, Make calls the tile converter.

I won't try converting it to a tile sheet until I have more of the setting and (just as importantly) the goal of the game mapped out. I have up to 128 KiB for a Zelda/Mana style game using MMC1 whose goal is to pick up pieces of an image gallery. The rest of the ROM is for the images in this gallery.

Memblers wrote:
Kinda kills the RLE compression

Exteriors won't use RLE compression as much as SMB/SMW style object encoding. I plan to draw even the paths as (start, end, width) triplets, which will probably complicate setting tiles up for scrolling.

Author:  Bregalad [ Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:04 am ]
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Tepples, your second pic is a major improvement over the first one. It looks really great, a NES game with graphics like these would sure be awesome !

If there were something to be improved, I'd say add random white dots in the water (which looks plain blue here). Don't remember which game I got this technique from, but it makes the water looks shiny and looks better,

Author:  BARBEERIAN [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:39 pm ]
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It's coming together pretty well, but things still look too similar. Check out this tutorial site (peek at chapter 3 and 4 specifically).

Also the shading seems uneven. Try and think of where your light source is coming from and try and texture everything with that in mind. For example: The houses look like they're lit from above+front. The tree leaves look like they're lit from above+behind, yet the tree casts a shadow like it's lit from above+front.

http://www.petesqbsite.com/sections/tutorials/tuts/tsugumo/default.htm

Author:  unregistered [ Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:08 am ]
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tokumaru wrote:
I use MSPaint to draw all my pixel art. In XP (I don't think Vista and 7 have this) you can even have 3 active colors at a time (1 for the left mouse button, 1 for the right button and an extra one that you can select/use with any button when CTRL is pressed), which is great. I usually draw a box with the dimensions/shape of the object I want to draw and once the object is ready I break it into individual tiles for conversion. It's a lot of manual work, but it's not like I keep updating graphics all the time: once I convert into the NES format the art is pretty much final, I rarely ever change it after that.


Vista has the 3 colors mspaint. Just tried that and it's wonderful; thanks for sharing! :D

tepples wrote:
I'm just drawing these in GIMP as a mock-up. My file has 14 layers in it, including one for an object used only as reference for another object's dimensions. (Layers are one thing Microsoft Paint doesn't do.) I even use GIMP to make tile sheets when I do get around to putting the graphics in a program. I have a makefile job that converts PNG to CHR: when I edit the PNG and rebuild the project, Make calls the tile converter.


Your drawings are incredible and love the tree looking like it is not composed with 3 circles!! :)
Is Make part of the GIMP?

Author:  tepples [ Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:06 am ]
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GNU Make ordinarily comes alongside a compiler toolchain such as GCC. Under Ubuntu, it's one of the things you get when you sudo apt-get install build-essential; under Windows, it's one of the things you get when you install MSYS with devkitPro tools or MinGW. It's a way of specifying what files are created from other files so that the programs to rebuild them are run in the correct order and possibly at the same time.

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